Recently, our co-founder, Daniel, sat down with Portugal’s Valor Magazine to discuss Altar’s future.
They covered everything from the work we dedicate ourselves to, to the future challenges we plan to tackle in our endeavour to become the category queen in product development.
Here’s the full transcript from the interview.
The Eyes of the World in a Boutique Portuguese Agency
Altar.io has been in business for six years and is an international benchmark in building B2B and B2C software for startups and big corporations.
According to Daniel de Castro Ruivo (Co-Founder & Head of Product), Altar.io works mainly for the US, UK and Switzerland and competes for the top 3 worldwide in the most authoritative international rankings (such as clutch.co).
Valor Magazine: What Areas of Activity are You Dedicated To?
Daniel: Since our inception, our purpose has been to create excellent products for entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to revolutionize their chosen sector.
Before coming together to form Altar, my co-founders and I had already created over 10 startups between us.
As a result of this experience, I believe that we bring a unique perspective to software creation.
It’s a perspective that helps the founders and business leaders we work with avoid the typical mistakes we see many first-time entrepreneurs make.
Normally, a founder or business leader approaches us with their business vision, backed up by extensive knowledge of their chosen industry.
We at Altar then bring our extensive product and technology knowledge to the process, transforming their vision into an excellent product.
I say excellent because, for us, all products have to be excellent – there is simply no excuse for anything less.
For the first time in human history, we have the ability to observe user behaviour and iterate around it in near real-time. Therefore, the only reason for anything less is simply the arrogance of not knowing how to listen.
Our process has gained traction among entrepreneurs, with over 100 startups reaching out to use within our first year alone.
Naturally, we are unable to accept every project that approaches us.
As a result, we’ve started to become selective.
Today we only work on projects that we seriously believe in.
In numbers: the probability that a startup will live longer than two years and raise Venture Capital is approximately 0.05%.
Of the startups that work with us, approximately 75% achieve this result.
We’re extremely proud of these results, that wouldn’t be possible without the team of top talent we work with.
This reputation brings us clients such as an HSBC CEO from across the continent and a YouTube product director – and we feel like this is just the start.
VM: What Distinguishes You From Other Technology Consultants?
D: Almost everything. We aren’t a technology consultant in the traditional sense of the word.
What startup founders say about us is that “Altar is like an extended team of co-founders”.
Corporations come to Altar.io because we take a more hands-on view from the experience of building many products.
Why is this happening?
The normal account process of a traditional consultant is to simply quote the client’s order, and build the product if the quote is accepted.
With us that never happens.
When a founder or business leader approaches us, we carry out due diligence on that product idea with an extensive process we call the Product Scope.
Many companies don’t expect this from a partner. But we believe this is the only way to work together and be successful.
I also believe that before we encourage the founder to invest time and budget to build their product, it is essential that we know how to respond to questions like:
“Why would anyone stop using a platform they’ve been using for years to adopt this new product?”.
Many times the entrepreneurs and business leaders we work with don’t have a robust answer to these questions. That’s where we come in. We’re committed to the success of every product we touch. That’s our key strategy.
VM: What is The Product Scope?
D: Now, a product is a living being, always changing. But the first version of the product, a.k.a. an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), is decisive for the success or failure of a project.
So before we start the implementation phase, we do a Product Scope.
The Product Scope is a seven-day process and aims to define the first version of the product.
During this time we analyse, in-depth, the:
- The problem they face
- The market, including
- Direct and indirect competition
- their capacity to iterate
- their strengths and vulnerabilities, for us to exploit.
The main objective is to reach the end of the process with the strong belief that the product we are creating is 10 times better than the existing ones.
VM: What Future Challenges do you Plan to Tackle?
D: Our goal for this year is to give our employees the chance to acquire capital from the company.
Next, we plan to open an internal startup builder. Our objective is to develop and incubate new projects, without ever colliding with our clients in the consulting area.
The idea is that our consultancy projects will finance the development and incubation of the projects we create internally.
We also want to give our employees the chance to have equity from the startups we created.
Thank you to Valor Magazine for featuring our co-founder Daniel and Altar.
If you’d like to see the original interview (in Portuguese) you can check it out via this link.
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Thanks for reading.